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Dozens of Bulldogs to Trot Out Their Best Costumes for 'Bull-o-Ween'

By Emily Frost | October 24, 2013 9:30am
 The costume party is for bulldogs and their owners on the Upper West Side. 
Bull-O-Ween Costume Party Held for Dogs
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Eight-year-old Charlie will probably end up in a safari-themed costume this Halloween, while his adoptive sister, Gigi, also 8, will likely wear a cheerleader getup. 

The 48- and 55-pound bulldogs are headed to a special costume party just for bulldogs this Sunday at the Upper West Side's Camp Canine, a doggie daycare facility on West 73rd Street.

Charlie and Gigi will be dressed by their owner, Whitney Allen, a Roosevelt Island resident who heads a 655-person strong Meetup group for English bulldog owners in New York City, which helped arrange the party.

Dressing the dogs in costumes is what makes "Bull-O-Ween," now its second year, so popular, said Allen.

Last year, close to 30 dogs attended, in ballerina, gangster, bumblebee and shark costumes. Tuxedos are also very popular, according to organizers.

"There’s nothing funnier than a room of bulldogs running around," Camp Canine owner Tania Isenstein said. "The only thing that’s funnier is bulldogs in costumes."

The breed's oversized personality adds to the fun, Allen said.

"They’re very lifelike — they have a human side to them," she said.

Isenstein, who bought Camp Canine a year-and-a-half ago, leaving behind her 20-year-long career as a corporate lawyer, said she thinks interest in the party also stems from the nature of bulldog owners. 

"People who are into bulldogs are really into bulldogs," she said. "They have a lot of breed spirit."

The scene is downright hilarious, said Isenstein, who hosts the party for a $5 donation from each owner that goes towards the Toby Project, which helps fund spaying and neutering. 

However, it's hard to find a costume for a bulldog, said Allen. 

The breed's large size makes it tricky to squeeze them into many dog costumes, which are designed for Chihuahuas and other small dogs, she said.

Allen scoops up extra-extra-large dog costumes whenever she finds them. 

Many other people make costumes for their dogs, Isenstein said. 

And what exactly happens at the party?

"Most of them really like to just chase each other around. Bulldogs really love other bulldogs," Isenstein said.

The party is also a way to commiserate and share with other bulldog owners, many of whom dress up in their own costumes, sometimes matching, too.  

To RSVP for the party on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 12 to 2 p.m., email info@nycampcanine.com.